US Diplomat: Three Reasons Tinubu Defeated Atiku, Obi To Win Presidential Election

A former American ambassador and a foreign observer in the just-concluded 2023 general election, Johnnie Carson, has listed three factors responsible for the victory of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.

Carson, an Executive Officer of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), declared that Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), won the election, adding that the President-elect would be sworn in on May 29, except something happens dramatically with the court.

“Do you know why he won, he got the money, he had the best national organisation that worked for him and the ground game,” he said while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in Washington DC, the United States, on Thursday.

The diplomat, who said he co-led the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), International Election Observation Mission to Nigeria during the election, stressed that for a candidate to win an election in Nigeria, like a lot of democracy in the world, the three things, including substantial and significant financial resources were needed.

Others, according to him, are a national working organisation and a grass-root acceptance.

He admitted that while Tinubu had all the three criteria in his kitty during the polls, the other major contenders did not have all.

Carson, while speaking on the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, said: “On the part of Mr Peter Obi, he did not have the ground game and a national organisation.

“Obi is, however, very popular, particularly among the young, educated, urban, and sophisticated.”

Carson added that the February 25 presidential election was one of the most competitive polls in Nigeria and in Africa.

He, however, stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needed to up its game.

“Nigeria deserves the very best electoral process. To me, the problem is not with Tinubu and the other candidates,” he added.

Carson further hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to delivering a free and fair election for Nigeria, saying the President “is a man of outstanding integrity and he demonstrated the attribute in the past elections.”

On his part, Mohammed said considering where INEC was coming from and where it were today, there were massive improvements in the conduct of the 2023 polls.

Conceding that there was room for improvement, the minister said the introduction of a new technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), by INEC underpinned the credibility of the elections.

He said BVAS cut out fraudulent votes, ghost voters, and multiple votes, adding that the 2023 general election was conducted against the backdrop of fuel shortage, mounting insecurity, and a poorly timed cash swap policy.

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